Loggerhead Apparel is an American brand dedicated to quality clothing, protecting the loggerhead turtle and supporting the American textile industry. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sara from Loggerhead Apparel about the brand and its philanthropic efforts, so read on for this Philanthropy Week Brand Profile.
Who founded Loggerhead Apparel?
It was founded by South Carolina natives, Sara and Zac Painter. Sara grew up on the coast of Charleston, SC, near one of the areas that has the highest number of Loggerhead sea turtle nests on the Eastern seaboard, north of Cape Canaveral, FL. Zac grew up in Spartanburg, SC in a mill village, the grandchild of textile mill workers, who was personally affected by the decline of the textile industry in SC.
Why was Loggerhead Apparel founded?
It was founded with a dual purpose of bringing attention to the U.S. apparel manufacturing industry and protecting one of our endangered species, the loggerhead sea turtle. Literally everything we produce, from our business cards and stickers, to Croakies, to our core product, the Bellwether Polo, is manufactured completely in the United States, and we give 10% of sales (not profits or proceeds, but sales) directly to sea turtle conservation efforts.
What did the founders do before Loggerhead Apparel?
Sara and Zac both have backgrounds in advertising and marketing, which is where they met in 2005 at a Greenville, SC advertising agency. The two have an extensive background in retail sales and marketing.
You donate 10% of your revenue to local causes supporting the conservation and protection of the
Loggerhead Turtle. Why did you choose the loggerhead?
The Loggerhead sea turtle has been on the endangered species list since July 1978 and also represents South Carolina (where Loggerhead Apparel was founded) as its state reptile. There are many endangered species that need support, but we picked the Loggerhead because it’s close to home and is up against so many threats that we can help reduce. There are great non-profit organizations out there working hard to save the Loggerheads and protect their nests, and we wanted to be able to do something that provided financial support and awareness for their efforts.
Your brand eschews using foreign manufacturers in any part of the production process. What led to
Like the loggerhead, the textile and manufacturing jobs in the United States have been declining in numbers and are endangered. The textile industry is all but gone, just like the furniture industry of North Carolina and the automobile industry in Michigan. 68% of every dollar spent with a locally owned business stays in the community, compared to only 43% at a national chain location. And if those products are not only purchased from a local business, but MADE by local businesses, then that number builds down each part of the production line.
What are the plans for the future of the company?
We are expanding our product offerings as we speak, with t-shirts and new polo colors available in the next month, along with hats and visors, khakis, children’s and baby clothing next in line for later this year. We also plan to expand to retail stores outside of the Carolinas this Fall. While our growth plans are unlimited, our materials will always be grown and products manufactured here in the United States.
What advice do you have for our readers who want to make a difference?
Don’t be discouraged if what you want to do isn’t being done anywhere else. We need more of those ideas, and those are the ones that usually catch on. Also, always support your supporters. There are so many companies and trends that are catching on and being spread by word of mouth and social media. Know your audience and speak to them.
Head over to the web site to check out the full line of products and do your part to preserve the loggerhead turtle and support American companies.
Bellweather Polo ($68)